Cooking while on vacation

don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but it’s one of the easiest ways to save a bundle of cash.

We cook every single time we’re on vacation. We try to book a hotel with a full kitchen or kitchenette, but if we can’t hack that, we try and at least get a hotel room with a microwave (it’s amazing what you can do with one). We have a little $10 travelling rice cooker made out of plastic that works like a charm, and we buy fresh food from the local grocery store which we cook in the microwave, or eat raw with the rice and some soy sauce.

Once, we managed to get a hotel with a kitchen. It was fabulous! We spent $20 on a frying pan, spatula, salt, pepper and other basic cooking essentials, then we made fajitas for dirt cheap all week by buying pre-BBQ’d chicken at the grocery store for $7, peeling the meat off that, and wrapping it in tortillas with cooked vegetables using our frying pan. We ate the entire week for $50. And we were STUFFED.

We even had Chinese Peking Duck, and it was a deeeeelicious dinner with fresh tomatoes, vegetables, flavoured rice (flavoured with the duck juices) and we ate ourselves silly.

What we ended up buying outside was ice cream, or drinks. But for eating – we did all of it in the hotel room by taking the public transit back for lunch (hell, we’ve got time, we’re on vacation!), and then public transit back out towards downtown.

Food was quite inexpensive for the entire trip, with the most money being spent on ice cream and drinks like juice or pop for BF.

It’s a great, money saving, frugal idea. And it’s well worth it to get a hotel with a kitchen. All it takes is some elbow grease to prepare the food, and you eat like royalty on the cheap.

Update:

I agree on the point that when in Japan, eat like the Japanese with sushi etc..

But I’m referring (mostly) to domestic travelling to the States or Canada, or even to other places where the food isn’t exactly very different from what we eat at home.

If I was in China, I’d just buy duck in the store, take it home, cook rice, and eat it at home for cheaper than buying the Peking duck meal in a restaurant where they do the same thing and give you less to boot.

However if it was Japan, we are still able to make sushi in the hotel, but with better ingredients from the store. For example, we bring our own sushi mat, the little mini rice cooker, and we buy the rice/meat in the grocery stores and roll it at home.

We may go out to eat once in a while in a nice Japanese restaurant or eat things from the hawker stalls that we just CANNOT make in a hotel room, but those are once-in-a-while treats that we’re willing to try. However, if it’s food for everyday, it can add up to be pretty expensive to eat in a restaurant all the time.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.